Digital Futures @ the Victoria and Albert Museum - 26 June 2012
In his brief essay «A Note Upon the Mystic Writing-Pad» (1925), Freud develops an analogy between a common child toy and the perceptual apparatus of the human mind, comparing ‘the appearance and disappearance of the writing with the flickering-up and passing away of consciousness’. Part of an enquiry on the self-reflexivity of the medium, this installation pushes the common tendency to anthropomorphise our gadgets to its deepest implications. Stretching the Freudian analogy, I hypothesize a technological unconscious, and render what the device retains behind its receptive surface, but does not show.
In a Victorian cradle, amidst little cushions and a baby blanket, lays an iPad. When the cradle is rocked, a motion sensor activates a video, and the viewer can watch and listen to the tablet’s dream. The dream is a gaze on the carnal medium par excellence. The uncanny ballet of hands and indicators expresses a desire for contact and exploration, and is ultimately a reflection on Touch. The dream represents a rupture with the alienation of the sensorial, restoring the instinctual power of the human bodily senses.